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A story about a Story

  |   Storytelling

Stories have existed long before recorded history. 30,000 years ago our ancestors scraped, engraved, or charcoaled their stories into cave walls.  Although the image you see above is 30,000 years old, we recognize these are animals, and we can begin to imagine the story that is being told by just looking at the picture.

Telling a story, is part of being human.

Photo Credit: Liz West

In 500 BC, Aesop began to tell his stories – many of which we know today. His stories were remembered for hundreds of years without a single shred of paper or other printed material. Isn’t that amazing?

Verbal storytelling was so powerful that even 300 years later the stories were still around for their first printing.

Storytelling was a very valuable skill.

Photo Credit: Yutaka Seki

In 1900, storytelling was changed by the first mass-marketed camera – the Brownie. This innovation allowed the masses to capture and create stories visually.

But, a camera doesn’t guarantee you’re a great storyteller.

I am sure you have sat through someone sharing a hundred blurry vacation pictures. However, I’m sure you can also remember at least one time where photojournalism transported you to an world far from your own. Or, National Geographic’s photography took you to the top of a unclimbable mountain or out in the roughest of seas.

Like a cave drawing, a photograph can tell a story of its’ own.


Storytelling can…

Little did we know, it’s the story that sucked us in. Yes, storytelling is powerful.


Ok, what does storytelling have to do with me?

Steve Jobs was likely the most famous corporate storyteller. All of his stories had a purpose. He shared a well-crafted story to connect, persuade, and inspire his audience.

Creating impactful stories takes time and is possible for your business.

3 things to think about when telling your story

Storytelling is everywhere.

Unless you live under a rock, you experience stories every day. You find them in social media, websites, advertising, video, and branding – just to name a few. Think about your audience and how to best reach them before wasting time and money everywhere.

Visuals are key to making your story memorable.

The ability to recall a story after 3 days is increased from 10% using only words, to 65% when combining words with visuals. Also, visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text is.

Humanize your data for insight.

Between tweets, likes, comments, blogs, videos and images, today’s customer is estimated to generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day.

You can have all the data you want, but you have to humanize it to gain insight into your customer, how they are consuming content, and gain insight into the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and channels.

What’s next?

Trust me, I know it’s hard to run a business. It may feel like you have to be a large company to build a marketing ‘dream team’ and that it’s unattainable for small businesses or start-ups. I believe that the time invested in mapping out your story, and creating a strategy to share it, is very valuable and worth the time and effort. As you can see, storytelling is a powerful way of communicating and has been for thousands of years. I hope this quick overview inspired you begin creating your own story. Until then, reach out to me if you have questions!